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Title: The effects of L2 reading proficiency, reading purposed and text type (exploratory versus narrative) on Saudi EFL students reading problems and strategies an exploratory study
Author: Alkhaleefah, Tarek A. A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2703 1050
Awarding Body: The University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2011
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Research in L2 reading strategies has reported various factors affecting ESL/EFL readers' cognitive and metacognitive processing of texts. These include variables related to the reader, the text and the task assigned. Although L2 readers' variables (e. g., L2 reading proficiency, vocabulary knowledge, prior background knowledge) have received considerable attention from L2 reading investigators, there still remains a lack of qualitative empirical studies that investigate how variations in text types and reading purposes can impact the strategic processing of L2 readers with varying reading proficiency. Hence, this study, through think-aloud reporting and retrospective interviews, explored the reading problems and strategies reported by 16 Saudi EFL readers processing expository and narrative texts for two imposed purposes for reading. The qualitative coding of the verbal protocols yielded a constructed taxonomy of seventy strategic processes. Of the three explanatory variables, text types (expository vs. narrative) proved to be the most influential, yielding significant differences for four out of six major categories and specific strategies, especially five bottom-up strategies. Generally, strategy-use mean frequency was found higher for the narrative text for the reading problems, word-attack strategies and bottom-up strategies, and higher for the expository text for the top-down strategies. With respect to the reading problems, the findings of the study are not consistent with those from previous studies which concluded that readers often encounter more difficulties processing the expository than the narrative text due to the differences in readers' formal schema about the text types. Second, differences in L2 reading proficiency showed some significant differences between good and poor readers in three major problems being monitored and three top-down strategies. Additionally, the qualitative findings revealed that EFL good and poor readers differed in how they employed the strategies. Third, the least influential explanatory variable was the difference in the reading purposes (comprehension testing vs. oral discussion) on readers' reported problems and strategies. The results showed significant differences only in relation to word-attack strategies reported by both L2 reading ability groups in the oral-discussion purpose. Finally, of the seventy cognitive and metacognitive processes identified in the constructed taxonomy, the most used strategy was the cognitively undemanding strategy of rereading, often the most frequent bottom-up strategy identified in previous Ll and L2 studies then paraphrasing in Ll, followed by reading on (subsequent parts of the text), adjusting reading rate/speed of reading, and paraphrasing in L2.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available